Over the last several weeks, the Washington Capitals have reportedly been finalizing deals with their top talent outside of the organization. The team signed University of North Dakota forward Shane Gersich and Swiss defenseman Tobias Geisser. They also reportedly have a deal in place for Swedish forward Axel Jonsson-Fjällby, who currently leads the Swedish Hockey League in playoff goals.
Monday, Championat’s Pavel Panyshev reported that Russian goaltender Ilya Samsonov, the Capitals 2015 first-round pick, will sign with the Capitals after the current KHL season concludes.
Вратарь Илья Самсонов не будет продлевать соглашение с магнитогорским "Металлургом" и после окончания сезона отправится в систему клуба НХЛ "Вашингтон Кэпиталз".
— Павел Панышев (@ppanyshev) March 26, 2018
“Goalie Ilya Samsonov will not extend his contract with Metallurg Magnitogorsk and after the end of the season will join the Washington Capitals system,” Panyshev wrote on Twitter, as translated by RMNB’s Graham Dumas.
But because Russian journalism is like the wild, wild west, we must always take any reports out of Russia with a grain of salt.
For instance, NHL.ru’s Igor Eronko replied to Panyshev’s tweet, saying “Samsonov himself isn’t sure of that.” Eronko added in an English language tweet that Samsonov wouldn’t confirm the news officially (which makes sense because he’s still under contract) and that Metallurg has offered a contract extension.
There's a report that Ilya Samsonov is set to join the #Caps once his contract with Metallurg is over, but Ilya himself doesn't confirm it. Says it's undecided. Metallurg offered him an extension
— Igor Eronko (@IgorEronko) March 26, 2018
Samsonov’s KHL deal officially ends on April 30.
5. Any contract in the League (except a tryout contract) must run through the end of the current season. The term “Season” as used in the KHL Rule Book refers to the period from the beginning of the preseason through April 30 of the following year. The term “Season” for the purposes of a contract is defined as the period from the beginning of [the player’s] work through April 30 of the following year.
6. The Contract ends on the 30th day of April of the year in which the Contract expires.
Metallurg was eliminated from the postseason on Friday after a 3-1 loss to Ak Bars Kazan. Samsonov played in five games during Metallurg’s postseason run, posting a 1-2 record. The Caps prospect turned away 94 of 103 shots he faced for a .913 save percentage.
The Russian goaltender had dinner with Caps GM Brian MacLellan in December. TSN’s Bob McKenzie tweeted that it was “reasonably safe to believe” Samsonov will be on an NHL contract next season.
Tho nothing can be signed, sealed and delivered until end of season, due to KHL contract, reasonably safe to believe Ilya Samsonov will be on an NHL contract with WSH next season: https://t.co/Z3aLlcTXK5
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) December 12, 2017
Samsonov is widely considered one of the most talented goaltending prospects not currently playing in the NHL. He won a championship, the Gagarin Cup, with Metallurg during the 2015-16 season.
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